The legendary McLaren F1 test mules from back in 1992 were built at Woking in England, inside premises on Albert Drive, to commemorate that special event, McLaren Beverly Hills commissioned a rather special McLaren Speedtail from MSO, McLaren Special Operations to be inspired by those first F1 testing prototype vehicles … meet the bespoke ‘Albert’ Speedtail.
McLaren Special Operations (MSO) recently unveiled the ‘Albert’ Speedtail, as mentioned above a very special, bespoke commission by McLaren Beverly Hills, the North American McLaren retailer, this car is one of the final vehicles in the 106-car Speedtail production run, and apart from taking inspiration from the 1992 F1 test mules, this specific car is also an homage to the very first Speedtail attribute testing vehicle made back in 2018.
The original McLaren MVY02 Speedtail prototype vehicle was in fact christened ‘Albert’ as a tribute to its three-seat predecessor, the legendary McLaren F1, it is noteworthy that the ‘Albert’ prototype vehicle was the first Speedtail to see actual road use, at that time with front panels from a 720S as a disguise, but already with the three-seat, central driving position fitted so McLaren could test the driver ergonomics, general visibility, and figure out the optimum rear-view camera positions.
This new ‘Albert’ Speedtail homage ordered by McLaren Beverly Hills took inspiration from the camouflage wrap used on the road-going prototype that had a simple two-meter vinyl body wrap with design lines printed to represent the optimized airflow over the car, taking this into real paint by MSO took 12 weeks to complete.
The ‘aero lines’ became one of the most complex paint themes ever completed by MSO, using Magnesium Silver, the exact color used on the F1 road car when she was shown at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, in a combination with Ueno Grey, taken from the F1 GTR that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, taking both shades into a design based on the 2018 vinyl ‘cameo’ wrap.
‘”As one of the very last Speedtails to be built at the McLaren Production Centre, it was very important to us at McLaren Beverly Hills that ‘Albert’ honors the brand’s rich heritage, particularly paying tribute to the icon that is the McLaren F1. We worked alongside MSO through every stage, including concept ideation, to produce a truly bespoke and beautifully detailed car that celebrates the innovation and design excellence behind the fastest McLaren road car to date. We are fortunate to have been able to procure ‘Albert’ for one of our top clients and are absolutely thrilled with the finished result.”’ Parris Mullins, McLaren Beverly Hills
The new ‘Albert’ was built in the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) with a 1K gloss visual carbon fiber body. Due to the incredibly complex and detailed nature of the paintwork design, the MSO team completed test panels first to understand process feasibility and worked alongside the visualizer team to refine renders. In total, ‘Albert’ would require a 12-week post-build modification at MSO’s facility to reach completion; this included two week’s masking, six week’s painting, and the remaining time to dry and reassemble the vehicle after spraying.
In the end, they printed their initial renders in full scale before masking it all out on the actual car, after the car was built, including the wheels, this was the only way they could be sure it all aligned well over the entire car, during the two-week masking process the MSO specialist paint technicians used almost two kilometers of fine line-out tape to complete the airflow design layout.
“The name ‘Albert’ has a special resonance with MSO, as we are the custodians of the McLaren F1 and are based at the Albert Drive premises that McLaren Cars occupied in the 1990s. The Speedtail experience has been an exciting journey for our customers, from visualising their imaginations to realising these inspirations and sharing their delight when unveiling the finished product. ‘Albert’ brings this project to a conclusion and we are thrilled to finish on a high note.” Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations
The McLaren Speedtail is the fastest road car from Woking to date, it’s the third model in the McLaren Ultimate Series, a three-seat hypercar with 1,070 hp from a hybrid powertrain that’s capable of reaching a 402 km/h (250 mph) top speed, this amazing looking ‘Albert’ Speedtail will be shown at Sunset GT, a luxury cars and coffee event hosted by O’Gara Beverly Hills on Sunday 8th August 2021 in Sunset Plaza, Los Angeles, USA.